When the new warden comes in disguised as an inmate, he sees firsthand all the corruption and scams the guards and prison officials are running. When he reveals himself and starts to implement reforms to stop the corruption, the local business community, who had been benefiting from the scams, fights back, and the corrupt prison system starts making political trouble for the new warden. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
One of two movies first released in 1980 that were set in prisons and featured actor Morgan Freeman. The pair of penitentiary pictures are Attica (1980) and Brubaker (1980). See more »
As Warden Renfro leaves, he tells Brubaker, "Smartest thing you ever did was come in here incognizant; dumbest was steppin' forward." The term is "incogNITO", which means unknown or unrecognizable. "Incognizant" means unknowledgeable or ignorant. See more »
Richard 'Dickie' Coombes:
I don't get men like you, you're all dangerous men. You start wars and you let other people fight them, you come in and say 'do this, do that, think this way, walk this way', you put a sign in some fool's hand and say 'follow me around I've got the whole thing figured out, so you can change things for the better! Well that's a lot of bullshit! There's only one thing you do - that's get people killed!
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Get sent to jail, and you wonder whether this could happen.
Robert Redford plays another dignified character, this time as new warden Henry Brubaker posing as an inmate in a corrupt prison to understand the deplorable conditions there. As is the case with any prison-related film, we get to see some really ugly things here. Maybe "Brubaker" goes a little overboard in portraying its main character as a saint, but considering that the main point is to show the inhumanity of this country's penal system (which apparently hasn't changed much since this movie came out), they do a good job. I'd say that it's another movie that, if nothing else, deserves kudos for disproving the "Disney-ized" version of the world that we often get shown. A very good movie.
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